I want to share a passage with an unknown author. I really like this passage for It talks about the mask that we wear. It goes like this:
Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the mask I wear. For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off and none of them are really me. Pretending is an art that is second nature with me. I give the impression that I am secure, that everything is fine with me, that confidence is my name and coolness is my game. And that I need no one. But don’t be fooled by me.
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask. Beneath the mask is the real me – confused, frightened and alone. But I hide this. I don’t want anyone to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I create a mask to hide behind –a nonchalant, sophisticated facade to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows.
I know that such a glance is my salvation. I know that if it is followed by acceptance, if it’s followed by love, it’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself – that I am worth something, that I am lovable.
But I can’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I’m afraid to. I am afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid that you will think less of me, that you’ll laugh at me and your laughter would kill me. I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing, that I’m no good and that you will see this and reject me. So I play my desperate game with a mask of assurance on the outside and a trembling child on the inside. And my whole life becomes a mask.
I chatter away surface talk, I tell you everything that is really nothing and nothing of what is everything. But when I go through my routine, don’t be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying, what I’d like to be able to say, what I need to say but can’t.
I don’t like hiding behind my mask. I don’t like the superficial game I’m playing. I would really like to be genuine and spontaneous and really me. But you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to hold out your hand even when that’s the last thing I seem to want. Only you can throw away the mask. Only you can call me into life again, each time that you are kind and gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care. With your sensitivity and empathy and your power of understanding, you can make me throw away the mask. You can make me live again.
I want you to know that, I want to know how important you are to me, how you can be the creator of the real person that is me if you want to. Please want to! You can break down the wall behind which tremble, you can make me throw away the mask. You can free me from my world of uncertainty and insecurity. Please don’t pass me by!
It will not be easy for you. Long years of insecurity and feeling worthless build strong walls. The closer you come to me the more I fight back against you. I fight against the very thing that I need. But I know that love and acceptance are stronger than the highest walls – and that is my hope.
Please try to break down those walls with gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive. Please take my mask away and accept me and love me. I need to be accepted and loved. I am someone you know very well. I am every man and woman you meet. Please take away my mask in love.